If Only I May Complete the Task of Testifying to the Gospel
Apostle Paul went through Corinth, Ephesus, Macedonia, Greece, Troas, Assos, and Mitylene, and has arrived at Miletus. While preaching the gospel in various regions, Paul faced many threats and persecutions by disrupters wherever he went. He even had a near-death experience many times.
Now it is time to return to Jerusalem after a long journey. He does not know how many trials await him in Jerusalem.
Paul says to the elders who have come from Ephesus,
“The Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Saying this, Paul kneels down and prays. They all weep aloud and see him off.
Five times he received the forty lashes minus one; three times he was beaten with rods; he spent a night and a day in the open sea; he labored and toiled and often went without sleep; he knew hunger and thirst and often went without food; he was cold and naked. The gospel work was suffering to Paul. Nevertheless, he neither stopped nor stepped back, because he firmly believed that eternal blessings of heaven and the crown of righteousness were waiting for him at the ends of the path of suffering (2 Co 11:23–28; 2 Ti 4:7–8).
The path of the gospel we are now walking in is the path Apostle Paul walked 2,000 years ago and Jesus walked before him. Although we may have a hard and painful moment, let us not forget that when we overcome the momentary trial and complete our mission, the eternal kingdom of heaven will spread before us.